Plague Everyone with Joy

I wasn’t always so sunny and happy. People were always telling me to smile. I have noticed that my face will typically give me away and that when I’m lost in thought, which is often, it looks like I am angry.  I’ve made it a point to watch this. I have also made it a point to watch my thoughts.
For much of my life insecurities and doubt have plagued me. I have hurt myself with negative messages that became my mantra that ran constantly inside my head. This made me miserable. My negative energy attracted even more negative energy from others. I struggled with not being understood but it never occurred to me at the time that I also needed to try to understand others.
I decided to be kind to myself and forgive myself for being so very imperfect. I thought I could change my inner dialog to something positive and I looked for the good in me and told myself good things about myself, even if I didn’t believe them.  More importantly I took this same love and understanding that I was finding for myself and turned it outward. I made it my “job” to reach out and say something kind or supportive to people especially those who seldom hear that sort of thing. I made sure my compliments were honest and true. I learned that I could find something encouraging and positive to say to almost everyone.
 Not that this is easy all the time for everyone. I am a naturally shy introvert. It has taken many baby steps to get to where I am today. I have tried to plant tiny seeds of sunshine wherever I go.
And more and more I find these seeds have sprouted.
By spreading the love it comes back, absolutely. 
 I don’t mean to sound trite or come off with some well worn out syrupy platitudes.  I have heard people complain about the unauthenticness of the idea that thinking happy thoughts and that an attitude of gratitude is a cure-all. It is perfectly normal;  healthy, in fact to have a wide range of emotions including sadness. Emotions are colors on a palate and life is art. We as artists can make our lives masterpieces when we use a full range of hues.
That being said:
I find touches dark blues,  patches of deep purples and deep black hues to be in beautiful contrast to the soft pastels and sunny oranges and yellows, it is in that contrast that I find beauty in, but a little of those darker shades goes a long way. Life provides us enough of those. If I can, it is the sunshine I will spread.  Makes me happier anyway.
I can make the conscious choice of letting the darkness that hits me in life stop at me. This is how I cope with the crap that hurts me; with my refusal pass it on.
I am so blessed.
So if I seem a little pollyannish or silly remember I didn’t start out that way and that really, no one can be blissfully happy all the time.   Happiness requires the decision to be happy. Just the simple act of smiling is powerful magic in itself.  Science has shown that the simple act of smiling can boost your mood, lower stress, boost your immune system and possibly even prolong your life.
 I think to stay happy we need to spread that joy around like it’s the damn plague especially on those days when we do feel like crap.
So get out there and plague everyone you meet with joy.
Watch its boomerang effect come alive.

 

 
♥ Nancy

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We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy.
― Swami Satchidananda
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The Mad Artist

You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” 

― Friedrich Nietzsche

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What is it that takes over one’s mind and compels them to create? Is it sickness? Or madness? What is it that runs through the long corridors of souls and haunts hearts with this need to make something where once there was nothing; be it a blank page or a white canvas…or a pile of wood…empty bandwidth or file space or…. just empty silence? Whatever the emptiness, it is the artist that yearns to fill it.

How does one fill emptiness ? I suppose there are as many different ways to create as there are individual artists. The nature of creativity is that it is centered in the new and the untried. There is always a risk to creation. It takes a lot of backbone to present ones work to be judged by the eyes of others, to be put up on display in front of the crowd…. it’s a gusty thing to do.

Art is definitely meant to be appreciated and the role of appreciator can be just as important as the artist. Art can be a group experience–community wide.  Art encourages more art…which is a beautiful thing.

L I F E   is   A R T

Art comes in endless various forms..shapes and hues.  It is a rich phenomena, experience, wonder…whatever you call it it..it is sheer delight. Art can awaken and excite the senses.

It can be exhilarating, scintillating, sensual even, but also fun and whimsical…it can also be deep and rich and sometimes sad..it is emotional and it is real. You can feel it. It is that feeling that makes it great art in whatever form.

Artists, good ones, anyway…infuse an essence of themselves into their creation; a small taste of their inner soul…the really good ones make you feel what they feel.

 

monarch-butterfly

Life is color…

It is vivid-intense, sometimes stark and sad, but a great bright and spirited thing with wings.

~N.L McKinley

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“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” 

― Ray Bradbury

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It’s a mad compulsion, speaking here from experience. Writing is infused into me…I need to write, it is a thirst that is never quite quenched. As a shy child I spent many hours alone. Writing was my only outlet. I would pour out my feelings to paper, writing as fast as I could. I would keep everything I wrote and I never showed anyone.  Whenever I was happy or sad or confused my thoughts would go straight to paper.  I was never much for talking. I kept my feelings deeply contained inside me.

I still do write everything out. I have made the mistake in the past of publishing things perhaps I shouldn’t have. I am a sensitive sort and at times I cannot move past something without writing it out.

I can become quite testy when I don’t have a chance to write. I become like a caged animal; I pace, looking out the window. I get anxious and tense.  It is not fun to be around me at those times. I must admit I do have my dark moods but once I get at them by writing I am as free as a bird–totally unencumbered and at ease with the world.

It’s like I am a junkie who has just had a fix. I am never as happy as when I am in the middle of it all; writing away…fingers tapping, when I reach an especially engaging patch my fingers get faster and faster, the tapping gets harder and louder. When I am going at full tilt it is total ecstasy!

That is my personal madness and I claim it as my own. Are you a bit mad? Do you engage in a creative endeavor that demands your engagement? Tell me about your madness and we can compare notes.

Have a fantastic day full of loveliness,

Strawberryindigo.

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“You have to be an artist and a madman, a creature of infinite melancholy, with a bubble of hot poison in your loins and a super-voluptuous flame permanently aglow in your subtle spine

Vladimir Nabokov

van gogh self-portrait-with-bandaged-ear-1889-1.jpg!Blog

Famous Artists a to z

(biography.com)

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 A brief history of mental illness in art (scientificamerican.com)

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Artist Paints by Snorting Colors Then Crying Them Onto a Canvas (newsfeed.time.com)

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